book reviews

Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse (a fantastical journey!)

Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Publication Date: January 14th, 2020

Rating: 4/5

Lately, seventh grader Nizhoni Begay has been able to detect monsters, like that man in the fancy suit who was in the bleachers at her basketball game. Turns out he’s Mr. Charles, her dad’s new boss at the oil and gas company, and he’s alarmingly interested in Nizhoni and her brother, Mac, their Navajo heritage, and the legend of the Hero Twins. Nizhoni knows he’s a threat, but her father won’t believe her.

When Dad disappears the next day, leaving behind a message that says “Run!”, the siblings and Nizhoni’s best friend, Davery, are thrust into a rescue mission that can only be accomplished with the help of Diné Holy People, all disguised as quirky characters. Their aid will come at a price: the kids must pass a series of trials in which it seems like nature itself is out to kill them. If Nizhoni, Mac, and Davery can reach the House of the Sun, they will be outfitted with what they need to defeat the ancient monsters Mr. Charles has unleashed. But it will take more than weapons for Nizhoni to become the hero she was destined to be . . .

Timeless themes such as the importance of family and respect for the land resonate in this funny, fast-paced, and exciting quest adventure set in the American Southwest.

I received this e-ARC through netgalley but this does not affect my review.

First of all I just want to add that I’m not an ownvoices reader for this specific story but the author is ownvoices which is cool!

I loved learning about the Navajo mythology in this fun adventure! Honestly the only complaint I have about this book is that it ended too quickly! I would have loved for this to be longer so we could be a part of the adventure for a longer time but other than that, this was a beautifully told story about a girl that would do anything for her family!

Nizhoni is fierce and protective and honestly I was so proud of the journey she went through! From the very first page I loved her character. She was funny and smart and so honest. Of course, her character development was awesome and I loved to see her grow more confident and get stronger and more comfortable with herself! I loved how she tried to learn more about her family and her heritage. I especially loved how she was so protective of her family, especially her little brother!

Mac (Nizhoni’s brother) is literally so adorable and funny! A lot of the funniest quotes came from him and honestly, kid, I love hot cheetos too. Davery was also a really great character. I loved his friendship with Nizhoni and how he really stood up for Nizhoni and believed her about all the crazy stuff that was happening even when no one else would!

We had a lot of fun (scary?) monsters and creatures which was really great. The whole adventure gave me A wrinkle in time vibes in the sense that it was so magical and intriguing. The squad was so relatable and the trials they went through were so interesting to read about! I loved how the myths were modernized and made for this new audience!

I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fan of ownvoices, learning new mythology, wants an adventure worthy of making a youtube channel for, talking…frogs?, and daughters who will do anything to save their father. If you like hot cheetos, prophecies told in song, a chosen one, friendship and family, and realizing that you don’t need to be anyone other than yourself, then this book is definitely for you!

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